In this month’s Employees: Assets or Liabilities article we will discuss mastering employee feedback to de-hassle your organization so your business does not experience lost customers and revenue. Identifying, addressing and revealing the actions/results of employee feedback will de-hassle you, your business and your customers.
When you do this, you the business owner, will have employees that are assets and NOT liabilities.
Interested? Read on.
Verne Harnish, Author of “Mastering the Rockefeller Habits,” states, “Recurrent customer and employee hassles cost your employees 40 percent of their time, not to mention what it’s costing your company in lost revenue and customers.”
What makes people hate their jobs? What makes them non-productive, compliant – happy deadwood? Recurring problems and tasks. These are the situations, problems and mistakes that happen over and over again, never getting fixed. The same goes for your customers, as recurring problems wear on the reputation of your firm.
To reduce your costs, shorten your cycle times, and generally improve your internal working environment, you need a systematic gathering of data on what is hassling your employees and then do something about it. Your employees are the closest to the customer and their hassles are usually related to what is hassling your customer. Addressing these hassles are your opportunities with your customers as well as with your employees.
There are five key actions you need to take to begin De-Hassling your Business:
1. Gather the Data: Be Encouraging, Be Responsive
The best way to start this is to
Have your employees think about this from their perspective and the customer’s perspective. This will initially allow your employees to get things off their chest. Then compile the data, call a meeting and brainstorm some solutions. Make this fun. Focus this on improvement, betterment and not a “complaint only” activity.
Make this an ongoing activity monthly, quarterly, etc. so this process encourages employees to log recurring problems. You can seed your employees by asking them: What are customers requesting that can’t be provided? Where are they being hassled in the process doing business with us?
The key to this is to obtain the raw, unedited data. Even if the problem was resolved it needs to be logged so patterns, trends can be observed. This data and logging serve to point out opportunities for improvement that save time, improve working conditions and increase customer delight.
2. Handle the feedback
The one critical action you must take when you have the feedback is to be responsive to it.
Find a few quick hits to resolve ASAP. Something as simple as a bigger waste basket in the restrooms will start building the trust and credibility needed to resolve and de-hassle your business.
Do not try to tackle all the “hassles” at once. Make priorities. Pick the ones you want to address, put a team of one or two on them as their secondary role, support them and let them attack the problems. Addressing one or two at a time will prove that you are serious about this.
3. Report the Progress
Along with taking action,
It is very important to close this loop by doing this. It is not good enough to show the issue and show actions without showing closure and results!
4. Follow De-Hassling Etiquette 101
The next important thing to address is the “how.” In the wrong hands or with the wrong attitude an employee feedback system to de-hassle your business can be an elaborate waste of time. Do not let this happen. Verne Harnish has developed a simple six-point set of problem solving guidelines to keep you on track:
- Be relevant.
- Be specific.
- Address the root.
- Focus on the what not the who.
- Involve all those affected.
- Never Backstab.
To address these guidelines, ask yourself questions and consider principles such as these:
- Does the problem really matter? Is it top importance for customer/employee de-hassling?
- Be specific on the issue and answer. No generalities
- Ensure you are attacking the root of the issue and not the branches. Putting a band aid on cut arteries is not going to resolve the root issue.
- Never personalize the problem. Focus on it not on who.
- Solutions are bought in when those affected are brought in.
Be sure that everyone involved goes through this process with a victor’s mentality, not a victim’s mentality.
5. Find Management Development Opportunities
Do not get into the thinking that you, as the business owner, must do everything yourself.
You need to challenge, guide and provide meaningful tasks to people who are hungry for growth. This is an excellent opportunity for you to start a process that will allow you to work on your business rather than in your business.
This will provide you with employees who are assets, not liabilities.
Should you need training, help or assistance setting up this up, learning more about the ideas discussed, or implementing it and the accountability following it, let’s talk – business owner to business owner.
When this happens you know you have…
“EMPLOYEES who are ASSETS and not Liabilities.”